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Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

Introduction

19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX © UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre
19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva
© UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre

The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 27 March 2015 there are 41 thematic and 14 country mandates.

With the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), special procedures undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and others in which they bring alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations, contribute to the development of international human rights standards, engage in advocacy, raise public awareness, and provide advice for technical cooperation. Special procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council; the majority of the mandates also reports to the General Assembly. Their tasks are defined in the resolutions creating or extending their mandates.
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What special procedures have done in 2014 at a glance

This report, covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2014, provides information on the system of special procedures as a whole and its achievements, including facts and figures. It gives a comprehensive picture of what special procedures have done in 2014 individually and as a system, inter alia in terms of country visits, communications, thematic reports, follow-up activities, joint actions, development of international standards and advocacy. The report also reflects the work of the Coordination Committee. It also covers the main points raised at the twenty-first annual meeting of special procedures of the Human Rights Council, held in Geneva from 29 September to 3 October 2014.

 

Visual Directory


Directory of Special Procedures Mandate Holders

June 2015
English
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Annual Fact and Figures 2013


Annual Fact and Figures 2013

English
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Civil Society Handbook


Civil Society Handbook

Click here Chapter VI - Special Procedures and the Full handbook here (PDF, 1,28MB)

UPR recommendations relating to the Special Procedures (2008-2013)


UPR recommendations relating to the Special Procedures (2008-2013)

UPR recommendations  (PDF, 1,73MB)

Videos


Visit of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons -- Italy, September 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on truth -- Uruguay, October 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on the right to water and sanitation -- Brazil, December 2013

Visit of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Central African Republic -- Central African Republic, February 2015



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Feature stories

Feature stories about the Special Procedures of the
Human Rights Council.
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Contact us


Postal address:
Special Procedures Division
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Fax : +41 22 917 90 08

In Focus :

> Statement of the Chair of the Coordination Committee at the 24th Special Session of the HRC on Burundi, 17 December 2015

> “As the Covenants turn 50, it is time to turn norms into action” – UN experts, 9 December 2015

> Migrant crisis: “High time for Europe to reclaim a leading role in human rights” – UN experts, 9 October 2015

> Joint statement by UN Special Procedures on the occasion of World Environment Day, 5 June 2015

> A central role for a civil society is the only way to guarantee inclusive post-2015 development goals, 18 May 2015

> Statement of the Coordination Committee at the 23rd Special Session of the Human Rights Council on Boko Haram, 1 April 2015

> Statement by the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures on the repeated hate speech and incitement to violence directed against the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, 20 March 2015

> François Crépeau, the Chairperson of the Coordination Committee, presents the annual report of special procedures to the Council, 18 March 2015
Statement | Report

> Reports submitted to the 28th session of the Human Rights Council

> Joint statement by the Special Procedures on the occasion of the Human Rights Day 2014 - climate change and human rights
Open Letter to State Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 
[English - Spanish]

> Open Letter to State Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
[English - French]

> Reports submitted to the 70th session of the General Assembly 

> Forthcoming country visits

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Latest news releases:


Belarus / Human rights
“No changes in the dismal human rights situation since the October presidential election,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, warns.


Assange ‘arbitrarily detained’
Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London on 7 December 2010, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention says.

Renewed violence in Darfur
UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan Aristide Nononsi urges the Sudanese authorities to protect unarmed civilians after new escalation of violence in Darfur.

Jordan / Human trafficking
The UN Special Rapporteur Maria Grazia Giammarinaro calls for the prevention of human trafficking by improving working conditions for Jordanians, migrants and refugees.

More press releases...

For further information on how to submit communications on alleged human rights violations, please read the webpage on Communications and send your submission to: urgent-action@ohchr.org.